Fewer Holidays Irk Workers

  • By Nam Jeong-mi

    July 15, 2020 10:58

    Next year will give salaried workers in Korea even fewer days off than this year because Memorial Day, Liberation Day and National Foundation Day all fall on a Sunday.

    Koreans will have 64 days off next year, three fewer than this year.

    Some national holidays are made up on a Monday, but not all of them are deemed important enough. It is not until 2044 that, supposing no changes are made, Koreans will enjoy an unbroken sequence of 10 days off because National Foundation Day, Chuseok and Hangeul Day all happen in sequence, followed by a normal weekend.

    Some workers are so incensed about this year's and next year's lack of substitute holidays that they feel their right to rest is being violated.

    In some countries, holidays fall on a particular day of the week, so that Easter Monday, for example, is a day off in most Christian countries.

    A bill tabled by Minjoo Party lawmaker Hong Ihk-pyo and nine other assembly members aims to ensure a more fixed number of days off by shifting certain holidays from a particular date to a day of the week instead. For instance, Children's Day would be the first Monday of May so people can have a three-day weekend.

    Lee Jae-yong (28), an office worker living in southern Seoul said, "In Korean society, where employees still have to worry about irking their bosses when taking days off, public holidays are the best chances to get some rest. I think fluctuating numbers of public holidays depending on the year goes against the main purpose of the public holidays."

    But employers are not welcoming the bill, saying that an increased number of holidays reduces productivity.

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